Prescription from The Carnival Doctor

Rhadi Ferguson, PhD
"The Carnival Doctor"

For the best information in the world concerning carnivals please visit For the most comprehensive site available for fete tickets and masquerader costumes, please visit

For more information on how to properly prepare for carnival like a true veteran, please visit

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    If Opening night on Friday in Bermuda on the 17th of June is anything like opening night was in 2015, then ONCE AGAIN I am going to have the time of my life!!

    The artist line up is potent and one of my favorite artists is performing -- KES -- so I cannot wait. 

    And along with Kes are the following:

    Teddyson John
    Ricardo Drue
    King Bubba

    and a host of other DJs and guests. 

    Yesterday I communicated with many of you about the struggle of the carnival junkie.  If you did not read that dynamic article, then I would highly suggest that you do.  Check it out here!

    Today, I would like to communicate with you about something that I do not struggle with at all.

    And that thing is going to Bermuda for their carnival which is called Bermuda Heroes Weekend.

    If you attend carnivals like many of us do, then you understand the struggle. 

    The struggle of trying to catch that lightning in a bottle on more time -- that feeling on the road, that feeling in the fete or that feeling when that soca song comes on. You are constantly running it down and trying to get it or something close to it. It is what makes us and defines many of us as soca junkies and carnival junkies.

    The true struggle lies in the many variables which have to fall into place for you to catch that feeling.  There are so many ingredients. You have to be at the right place, with the right crew in some comfortable shoes, with a great DJ, with great things happening around you while sometimes dealing with a past or recent emotional traumatizing experience that is in diametrical opposition with what you are currently feeling so that the moment is even more heightened.  Then there's the weather, the ambience, etc.,. 

    There are few things that can beat being in the Caribbean and being on, in or close to the water. And SUITS Breakfast Cooler Fete provided one of those experiences.  On a Saturday morning hundreds of people dressed in white, off white, and cream colored attire lined up outside Harbor Master in anticipation for one of the hottest fete tickets during Trinidad Carnival.  The Suits Breakfast Cooler fete sells out every year and this year was no different.  

    The boat was packed with beautiful people who had a wonderful time listening to the the music from the DJs, enjoying the breeze coming off of the water and it was a wonderful start to one of the most exciting fete lineups of carnival.

    Now let’s talk particulars……..

    And, I'm going to take my time in telling you why.  :-)
    I most certainly hope that you had a wonderful carnival and will continue to experience carnival again and again.  Throughout my experiences at carnival I can tell you two of the biggest mistakes that I’ve seen people make which are so basic.

    As a world class martial arts instructor who has coached Olympians, World Champions and served as the Head Judo Coach for the Bahamas Judo Federation, I can tell  you this.

    Mastering THE BASICS trumps anything else when it comes to preparation. You can do the fancy stuff but mastering the basics is key.

    In the book, The Ultimate Road Ready Guide, I speak about the importance of many things, but the 2 basic things that I want to address today are communication and hydration.

    I Paid The $9.99

    Although Machel Monday was free years prior, this year it was streaming for $9.99   I could not believe that people actually complained about paying 10 dollars. I mean, what is Machel supposed to do?  Entertain the world for free? Set up the live stream, video hosting and audio machinery, all for FREE?  That's not a sustainable model. And I, along with many people, was happy to pay the $9.99.  
    The New Anatomy Of The Fete

    As I was analyzing the fetes, the fetting experience, talking to patrons and listening to conversations before, during and after carnival — I began to understand something major.

    It’s a phenomenon that I learned in sport as a player and a coach.  And that is…

    Everything that you did and have done before you step on the line impacts that outcome of the game and your play.  Meaning, everything that you did before you arrived into TNT has an impact and an effect on your overall experience.

    Now, this is why most virgins have a better time than veterans. And this is why I tell all virgins to thank veterans because as I’ve said, time and time before — carnival veterans sacrifice some of their “good times” to make sure that their carnival virgins have the time of their lives.

    With that being said lets look at the build up.

    The new anatomy of a fete begins with a ticket purchase. It then continues with fete attendance/experience and then ends with a fete assessment. 
    The process of reporting about carnival is a huge responsibility. People read what we write and they make decisions about which fetes to attend, which fetes to avoid and what they should expect at carnival. 

    Every year that I attend, I see things differently than I saw them at first. I learn more, I experience more and I feel more.  I also, unfortunately, approach things with a hint of cynicism and disdain because I want it the way that I want it.  My previous experiences create mental expectations that, often times, the reality cannot and does not meet.

    It’s like the building of sexual tension between you and another individual and then when the act happens it is unfulfilling. Not because sex itself is unfulfilling, but the expectation that you had of the experience did not match the reality. 

    See, your first time in Trinidad is impossible to mess up. Because no matter what you think, dream or imagine, Carnival in TNT is not only going to match it. It’s going to BEAT IT!  Severely!

    But once you’ve gone it’s a little bit different.

    Look, if you are in a relationship and you and your partner are both virgins and it’s the "first time" for both of you, then you have nothing to measure it against and it’s THE BEST EVER.  But if you’ve had a plethora of experiences then you start to compare one experience with the next one and then compartmentally each experience starts to become “the best” of it’s own category.  (i.e.  She gives the best ****. Or he ***** me the best. Or he goes ****** on me the best. Or she ***** my ***** the best. etc.,.)  (and uh….. shame on all of you if you could fill in the blanks!! LOL!!)

    But the truth of the matter is that we bring that sufferation on ourselves because NO TWO PEOPLE ARE ALIKE and comparing one against the other is not fair. 

    And likewise, comparing this year to last year or 2 years ago is not fair. Or comparing the music. 


    Because every experience is different.  Every carnival is different.
    How To Develop The Wickedest Wine!

    Let's just be honest....

    There's nothing like a good hard jam in the fete but nothing and I mean nothing, beats a nice, sweet, soft wine.

    A sweet wine with a nice rhythmic pelt of the waist is a delicacy that is served in every fete during carnival.  The key to find the person who can serve you this sweet dish. 

    One of the problems, at times, is that the dish is so good that you keep going back and then you find out that yuh cyah get any more service!!  LOL

    So just be aware that doing these exercises may in fact bring you more "service" on the road than you want to handle.  Just beware. When you start developing a sweet waistline, everybody wants a likkle sample in de fete.  :-)
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